First introduced to The Mentoring Partnership and the opportunity to mentor immigrant professionals in 2005, Santsingh (Sant) Marwaha has been mentoring internationally trained engineers from all over the world looking for ways to get into their professional fields in Canada ever since.
“When I came to Canada in 1990,” recalls Sant, “There was no Mentoring Partnership, and I had to figure out lots of things on my own.”
With all the experience, professional credentials and research that he had done before coming to Canada, Sant was confident he would find a job quickly.
“I thought I’m very well qualified. Here is my resume. It shouldn’t be a problem to find a job in Ontario after all the work I had done in India and Africa as a professional mechanical engineer, nuclear engineer and chemical engineer. I’m a professional in every country I go to. I worked for very good organizations, had responsible positions, and was keeping my qualifications up-to-date.”
After landing in Windsor with his wife and two sons, Sant started calling professional organizations inquiring about jobs, found an employment counselor to get their help, and even enrolled in the Wayne State University in Michigan to get a Master’s Degree in engineering – all so that he could find a position similar to what he left in India.
The breakthrough moment came when Sant credentials were recognized by Professional Engineers of Ontario. He got an interview with Hydro, landing a job and stay with the same organization ever since.
“I’m proud to be an engineer. I’m putting my efforts in the progress of my country.”
Why does Sant mentor?
“Mentoring is a great opportunity to share and it’s a chance to reinforce professional engineers. Often, people come here unprepared for what this country is like and what the requirements are for their profession.
“There was a need for mentors in my field. They need my help. It’s great when someone is getting help. Every new mentee I meet has a unique story. I tap into my experience to see how I can help them out.”
Sant’s advice for mentees:
I was proactive when I came; I was prepared to take the challenges and still it was difficult in the beginning. Be ready to face the challenges and not be hurt by a “no” answer. If you’re not selected, don’t worry, you’ll succeed in the end. Be professional, diligent, have situational awareness. You should be able to assess any situation and keep your eyes and ears open.”
“The bottom line is my philosophy. God has given you life. Every moment is precious. Every moment you learn. Everywhere you go, you’re learning. You’re continuously improving your life. Today is the best, and tomorrow would be better than the best. That’s the way to live. By doing that I’m blessed with the time. That’s how life is going on. I want to see everyone around me happy, healthy and living their lifetime.”
“Networking is good. To make it work for you, first ask yourself, what exactly you want. Set up your own context of your goals, what you’re looking for. It might be difficult to find out the right person right away and research takes time, but there is also a program like The Mentoring Partnership that helps to connect people. Focus on the positive.”